WATCH: HIV-positive man paid to rape Malawian girls
23 July 2016, 16:57
Lilongwe - An HIV-positive Malawian man regularly has sex with underage teenagers - and their relatives pay him to carry out the deed.
Eric Aniva, commonly known as a "hyena", is a married man who receives $4 (R57) each time he has sex with an adolescent girl as part of a sickening cleansing ritual in the country.
Sexual cleansing, a common practice in southern Malawi, sees young girls being sent to "initiation camps" before puberty. Here, adolescents are taught how to have sex and are forced into sexual intercourse over three days after the start of their first period.
Condoms are prohibited and girls risk falling pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV. One in 10 people in the southern African nation is HIV-positive.
Explaining the practice in an interview with the BBC, Aniva said had slept with over 100 women and girls since he became a "hyena". He has five children of which he has knowledge.
WATCH the video here:
"Most of those I have slept with are girls, school-going girls. Some girls are just 12 or 13 years old, but I prefer them older. All these girls find pleasure in having me as their hyena. They actually are proud and tell other people that this man is a real man, he knows how to please a woman."
Aniva has admitted that he keeps his HIV status a secret when families ask him for his services.
Government officials have expressed opposition to the practice, but with no official legislation in place to protect girls in the region, little can be done to stop the ritual.
May Shaba, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Welfare, has said that those who indulge in the practice cannot be condemned. They would instead be given information in the hope that this would make them change their ways.